Perfect ending to a great trip to Costa Rica. - Jake Claypool

Final day at the beach... Go Rocks! The group's day began with a quick, slightly obscure, breakfast. We then we dived straight into a hike around the Horizontes research center, where we observed various species and their symbiotic relationships. Two species that lived in this state of symbiosis were the Acacia tree and the Pseudomerymex ants. The Pseudomyrmex ants lived within the sharp, protective thorns which were provided by the Acacia tree. In return, the ants provided a natural herbicide which prevented other plans from choking out the Acacia. After we returned from the hike we cleaned off our boots, returned our boots for the last time, and assisted the research center with their forest restoration process. My group, which consisted of myself, John Vanetti, Madison Miller, and Chloe Martin, were given four trees to plant, which we proceeded to name. These names were rather silly, so I made the executive decision to erase them from my memory. After the planting, we had

Meet Luke... Trinity freshman on the Costa Rica Science Trip.

Hi Luke. What are your impressions of the trip so far?

Day 9 - Horizontes Research Center

Welcome to Horizontes. Horizontes is located in the dry rain forest. It is a research facility where they study and research the ecosystem, ecology, drought and its effect on the flora, and how to reforest the area. Horizontes, back in the 40s, was basically all forest. Then people realized how good the grass and soil was for cattle so they turned it into a cattle ranch. They had to clear a ton of the trees to make space for the cattle. They did that so much, it turned from a luscious forest to a desert in the 70s. Since then, they've been trying to reforest the area to try to get it back to the way it was. The government of Costa Rica has protected 30% of its land to where you can't kill anything or hunt because they are trying to preserve it. Horizontes is apart of that 30%. Harrison LaJoie Yesterday, we went to go plant trees for the local ladies at the butterfly farm. Afterwards, we went to an awesome river where we got to swim and hang out. There were small waterf

Shout out to Kim and Nickie

Celebration time... just finished presentations and off for lunch. Cole Nichols - Today was an awesome, yet tiring day. All eight groups presented their projects filled with information about ants, Blue Morpho butterflies, and cane toad toxins. My group specifically presented about the relationship between Atta (Leafcutter Ants) colonies size, and the distance and capacity of ants on their foraging trails. Ultimately this hypothesis was proven correct, supported by our consistent data and statistics, given in our presentation through regressions. The day culminated with the group doing service work for a local butterfly farm in town by digging holes for plants they eat after picking them. After, the group cooled off in a local river and I personally had the time of my life. We are leaving for Horizontes research forest station tomorrow, and I am very excited for this. That is the end of my time here, Ryan is up next. Ryan Wiseman - The presentations today went great. It w

Day 7: Science and a Cooking Class - Eliot Seifrit

What a view! Eliot making the beans. Nice tortilla Cole. Great Celebration Today was our seventh day in Costa Rica and one of our last days on Pablo’s chocolate farm.   Also, today was one of our last days to finish up our projects.   Picking a question to do our research on was very difficult, but my group, the 3 A.M BEANS, finally decided on doing research on escovopsis growth in different aged atta ant colonies. The first day of our research we went into the woods to collect one fungus garden from three different ages of atta colony, young, medium, and mature.   Collecting the fungus garden was quite difficult, first you must find a tunnel in the colony that leads to the garden, then you must deal with the soldier ants while trying to extract the fungus garden.   First, we went the farthest into the woods to get the medium ages colony.   It didn’t take long to find the fungus garden but when we tried to take it out there were soldier ants everywhere,

Costa Rica... where science comes to you!

While in Costa Rica, science comes to you. These are just a few samples of things we have collected, most of them just flew into the classroom. Leafy Praying Mantas Bullet Ant Queen (not as dangerous as the males, but still packs a punch) Found outside the classroom. This pseudoscorpion was found on the teacher table. it is really small (as seen through the dissecting microscope). This is actually a bug that mimics the more poisonous scorpion.

Day 6 – Hot springs and Waterfall - Kaleb and Elijah

Mr. Hammer jumping in the waterfall. Hello, our names are Kaleb and Elijah. Today we went on a trail near volcanic grounds. After the treacherous walk, we made it to the hot springs. They were pretty relaxing besides the semi-intense sulfur smell. After that we headed to a little pool in front of a waterfall. About half of us swam because the rest were too tired. After we got back to the house near the beginning of the trail, we had lunch that consisted of wrapped hot ham and cheese, chips, and little Costa Rican cookies. We got back on the bus for another hour and thirty-minute drive back to Finca La Anita. Once we got back C.O.N.G. did tests with different leaves and how the ants responded, after all that we had dinner and are continuing our experiments. Kaleb Having Fun in Hot Springs Smells like sulfur. Today, we woke up early to head to Ricon volcano, the hike was 3 kilometers to the hot springs. During the hike we saw a mountain crab (those exist?) an